Sallie Lowenstein and John Kenney
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During summer vacation, the Powers family finds a zoon full of "real" mythical beasts and unexpected adventures.
For their summer vacation, the Powers family purchases a tour of off-the-beaten-track zoos. By the time they reach the third zoo on the tour, they think they are ready for anything, but nothing could prepare them for The Mt. Olympus Zoo.
From the moment they knock on the gates and are greeted by Gideon P. Gargoyle IV, they are on the road to a rollicking series of adventures.
Accompanied by a cast of Gargoylian charcters, Nick (age 11), Olivia (age 7), and their pareants are introduced to beast after mythical beast that everyone knows don't exist. All the same, their doubts are slowly eroded as the beasts become more and more real. Soon, the family finds itself completely immersed in life at the wondrous Mt. Olympus Zoo.
A fun and unusual fantasy that promises many a giggle, The Mt. Olympus Zoo is a richly illustrated guide to world mythology with a special section that alphabetically lists the orignial versions and international origins of the myths mentioned and woven into the book.
At the edge of the field were massive stone gates, complete with gargoyles perched atop columns. We got out and followed a path to the gates. Dad grabbed a heavy, lion-headed knocker and rammed it on brass doors decorated by twisted reliefs of animals and beasts. The sound echoed around the mountain top, finally fading away to silence. Nothing happened. Dad was about to try again when one of the gargoyles detached itself and began buzzing around our heads.
"Hi," it finally said, "my name is Gideon P. Gargoyle IV. Are you the Powers family? If so, you're late."
"Why, yes, we are, but I didn't know we had specific reservations," my dad said.
"People! They are never, ever punctual. That's why Grant up there," he said pointing to another gargoyle, "claims he's sulking. He hates tardiness, but the real reason he's grumpy is that while we were waiting for you, he lost at Domination, the game of world conquest."
"Nick," Olivia whispered. "These are great special effects."
"Special effects?" Gideon hissed. "Special effects! I'm not some kind of puppet. I'm flesh and blood, little girl. Here, feel my hand."
"Yuck," Olivia said, as she delicately touched him. "You're greasy."
"Quite right. I have avoided bathing for the last, oh, five or six years."
"Phew, you smell like it, too," I said, catching a whiff.
"Well, while you discuss this odoriferous phenomenon of speical effects, I'll go fetch The Keeper," Gideon announced as he flew through a round hole at the top of the gate.
We waited. Nothing happened. After ten minutes, Olivia and I started staring at Grant, but he remained stonily immobile, sculpture-like.
I shook my head.
"Special effects," Olivia repeated.
"Looks that way," Dad said. "But what fun."
Library of Congress: 97-12045
Book Publisher: Lion Stone Books
No. of Pages: 252
Paper Weight (lb): 70lb
Illustrations (B&W): 110